As I type up this blog, I’m savouring every single sip of my Pepsi. That’s because I will starting an exercise regimen and nutrition challenge as I commit to becoming healthier.
Believe it or not, I used to be in good shape. I participated in many sports in high school and university, and was likely at my peak physical condition when I was 21 years old; I even had a 6-pack stomach haha. When Gail and I got married in 2000, I was a svelte 140 pounds and a size 28 waist. As I got older, my metabolism began to slow down and I started to gain weight slowly yet steadily.
After Dad died in 2004, I went to see my family doctor for a check-up. He told me that my blood, heart, and cholesterol were all fine but that he wanted me to lose 10 – 15 pounds. Well that was 9 years ago and since then I’ve gained weight instead of losing it.
I get a decent amount of exercise throughout the year: 4 months of roller hockey in the spring and summer, pick-up basketball here and there, and going to the kids’ basketball, volleyball, and track practices. Sadly, I don’t think that Speed Stacking really counts as exercise.
However, I have a bunch of unhealthy habits that have led to my weight gain. Firstly, anyone who knows me is aware that I drink way too much pop – sometimes between a litre and two litres a day! I often snack late at night (kinda goes with the pop thing) and I don’t get nearly enough sleep – sometimes as little as 3 or 4 hours a night. For a guy who loves to sleep, I sure don’t do it enough!
My friend – and fellow Richmond High Grad of 1992 – Craig Boyd saw a blog that I re-posted at the start of this year called “40 Things I Will Accomplish Before my 40th Birthday”. In this blog – originally from June 2013 – I listed many health-related goals such as going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, being less lazy, exercising more, and drinking less pop. Craig happened to see my blog and it piqued his interest.
Craig reached out to me on Facebook and we arranged to meet for lunch. Needless to say, I didn’t dare order a Pepsi in front of him. We had a great time catching up on matters of family, friends, and faith.
Then we got to the nitty gritty: fitness. I told him how much pop I consumed per day and he nearly spit out his soup. I then told him how much sleep I get a night and his eyes almost popped out of his head.
Craig patiently explained to me the science behind certain foods and habits. I certainly felt that his interest in me and my health was genuine as he said: “40 is a big year…let’s hit middle-age looking and feeling great!”
And with that, Craig outlined my mission: to complete the 360 Degree Abs training program (which he developed), a Fat Furnace interval-based cardio program, and a 21-day Fat Flush nutrition program.
As Craig detailed each of the 3 programs, I felt pretty confident that I would enjoy doing 2 of them. However, I knew the nutrition plan would be a big challenge for me.
Taken straight from the handbook, “The 21 Day Fat Flush is designed to get your body’s hormones re-balanced and get you burning fat again. Each of the dietary changes detailed below will contribute to lowering your cortisol and balancing your insulin levels.”
I don’t even know what cortisol and insulin are!
For the next 21 days, I’m not to consume the following:
-Grains (Breads, cereals, pasta or rice)
With respect to working out and rest, these are some of things I will need to do for the next 21 days:
-Workout using 360 Degree abs training program 3 x week
-Do Interval workouts 5 x per week
-Drink between 2 – 3.5 litres of water throughout the day
-Get into bed by 10:30pm or earlier at least 5 nights per week
-Get 8 hours of sleep each night
I’m actually really excited to embark on this adventure. For the next 3 months, I will be working in a small group training session on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7:30am. With the gym being one block from my office, the location is extremely convenient and will help ensure I’m at work by 9am! I’ve gone to two classes already and I can already feel a difference. I feel soreness in many of my muscles, as well as in other places of my body where I believe I’m supposed to have muscles.
I know it’s not going to be easy especially with respect to the drastic changes to my diet and eating habits. I’m grateful that my lovely wife Gail is 100% in support of me – as always – and she’s pledged to help prepare the majority of my meals. Likely so I don’t cheat haha.
I’ve warned my OYYAM staff that I may be a bit cranky or lethargic for the first few days as I get used to the new routine and diet. Thankfully, they haven’t expressed that it wouldn’t be much of a change from the usual.
I’ll be blogging at least once a week about my progress and I’d love it if you followed along and journeyed with me. Don’t be afraid to ask me how I’m doing, encourage me, challenge me, or pray for me. Lord knows I’ll need all the prayers I can get!
My short-term goal is to lose 10 to 15 pounds. My long-term goal is to hit my 40th birthday in June much healthier: not only physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well.
Let the #Roadto40 begin.